Croatia has five international airports; Zagreb, Pula, Zadar, Split and Dubrovnik. All have connections to many European cities as well as some to North America. Car is the most convenient means of transport, either self-driven rental or chauffeur driven. Croatia has some of Europe’s most sublime coastline and a private yacht or catamaran is highly recommended. Transfers to the islands such as Hvar are regularly done via speed boat or helicopter should a helipad be available.
Climate & seasons
The high season is June to September with numbers and temperatures peaking in July and August. During the summer holidays, Croatia is supremely popular with holidaymaker families driving down from Central Europe. Sailing is one way to beat the summer crowds. The shoulder months of April, May and October are good for wandering the lanes of ancient towns but certainly not warm enough for a beach break.
Where to go
Dubrovnik is the country’s biggest draw and with good reason, the historic Old Town is truly delightful. The Dubrovnik Riviera is also home to some of the country’s finest luxury hotel options but if you are hellbent on a sandy beach be warned most beaches in Croatia are of the pebbly variety. In general, the beachfront offerings here are somewhat limited compared to Greece or Turkey. The Dalmatian Coast with Split at its heart has a handful of charming ancient towns such as Zadar. While just offshore lay a maze of marvellous islands, Krk, Korčula, Brač and Hvar are amongst the largest and most visited but feel free to sail out and get lost amongst the legion of little-visited gems. Inland, the capital of Zagreb gets fewer visitors than it deserves, while the famous Plitvice Lakes make for a beautiful and rewarding trip. To the north is the peninsula of Istria, home to some of the country’s most romantic towns such as Pula and Rovinj.
What to do
Bask in warm clear seas, explore pebble beaches and hidden coves. Charter a yacht or catamaran and sail from island to island visiting some of Europe’s oldest settlements. Or take a birth on a traditional Karaka ship on a cruise from Dubrovnik. Wander cobbled streets of medieval walled towns. Sample local delicacies galore, take cooking classes, explore an ancient cuisine that mixes the familiarity of the Italian-esque ingredients with the hearty stews and heavier flavours of Eastern Europe. Go truffle hunting in Istria or wine tasting on the Pelješac peninsula.